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Monday, June 18, 2007

Love Dubai Strikes Back

After two disastrous showings—in the Illinois Derby and the Blue Grass Stakes—many of us (including this blogger) feared for Love Dubai’s health and safety, considering his connections’ rather ominous past experiences. However, after two months off, five solid timed workouts, and a return to grass, the three-year-old son of E Dubai actually made a credible appearance this past weekend in the G3 Colonial Turf Cup. With first-time rider Rex Stokes III up, Love Dubai fell well, well back from the start and, in fact, for most of the race appeared much like the hack we saw in his previous races. However, coming around the final turn and into the stretch, he was closing with impressive speed to get up for fifth place, just a head back of the fourth place Mysterious Peintre, and about 4-1/2 lengths from the winner Summer Doldrums. I must admit, I was impressed with Love Dubai’s sharp closing move, and hope (if his connections don’t muck it up) that this horse improves in his next outing. Watch the race here to see for yourself.

In Sunday’s juvenile races, I had the Belmont race 2 stone cold, as Sea Chanter, Queen of Protocol and Our Dreamette fleshed out the $2 trifecta ($30.80). Saber Jet Reprized scratched and Bet The Diva did not run as she was entered as Main Track Only (MTO). No real challenge there with small field and mediocre entries. However, race 5 at Churchill was a greater challenge. Blitzing ($5.40) won for Steve Asmussen (his other entry Possible scratched), with Yes Im Woman ($8.60 place) and Minewander ($7.60 show) keying a $473.80 trifecta. Miss Triss (6th), Cow Creek Cat (7th), Got Bling (8th) and Winning Idea (last) didn’t show much. I had more success in race 4 at Hollywood where my picks Set Play ($27.60), The Golden Noodle ($12.80) and Sayit ($5.80) keyed a $1 tri that paid $627.90. Favorite Mission Viejo Halo stalked the early lead, but faded to finish 8th of 11. Touch Luck was last the entire race.

I usually have little success playing Hollywood, mostly I suppose since I am in the East and don’t follow it closely. However, what helped in this instance was analyzing several things: the relative breeding success of each filly’s dam, how each filly's sire is stacking up on the juvenile sires list, and, most importantly, those sires that have proven high percentage success on all-weather surfaces like Hollywood’s track. Not by total earnings, but instead by win percentage and ITM (in the money) percentage. Sires currently at the top of the win percentage list include:

Danzig (32%)
Cozzene (25%)
Belong to Me (21.6%)
Montbrook (21.4%)
Stormy Atlantic (20.6%)
Johannesburg (20.5%)
Honour and Glory (20.5%)
Evansville Slew (20.3%)
Slew City Slew (20.3%)

Top ITM rankings include:
Danzig (68%)
Montbrook (55.4%)
Favorite Trick (47.8%)
Cozzene (47.7%)
Chester House (47.1%)
Tiznow (46.4%)
Seeking the Gold (46.3%)
Mutakddim (46.2%)
Stormy Atlantic (46%)
Menifee (45.5%)
Belong to Me (45.1%)
Skip Away (45%)

To see the complete list, look here.

Fascinating to play these two-year-old races since you must consider mostly trainers and breeding for these maiden runners. I have downloaded several PPs for two-year-old races this week, so (as long as I am entertained) it looks like this week's theme is two-year-olds :)


QQ said...

Thanks for mentioning the jockey on Love Dubai. I didn't know Rex Stokes, one of my favorite Mountaineer riders, was on Love Dubai. (The PPs I had of the race listed Pino as the jockey. Wonder what happened?) The simulcast hosts call Stokes "The Speed Doctor" for his uncanny knack with those wire-to-wire types.

superterrific said...

Thanks for the equineline link and ITM percentages. It's too bad they only provide the ITM data for the all weather track sires, that's some great data.